October 9th, 2011


[links] Link salad wishes for improbable food

[info]selfavowedgeek with a review of my short novel Death of a Starship

Deciding to fish or cut bait. Jonesing for MMORPGs. — Urban Fantasy author J.A. Pitts on why he used to game obsessively, and why he doesn’t any more. I could have written this same post, except that I quit RPGs before MMORPGs came along. As I’ve said before, if Everquest or World of Warcraft had existed in my teens or twenties, I wouldn’t have a writing career today. I’d be an umpteenth level wizard-thief or whatever instead of an author. And I continue to wonder how many voices never came to being in SF/F because they chose the rewards of a collaborative, immersive gaming environment over hours, days and years alone at the keyboard. Who knows what stories we’ll never read?

Fantasy: High, Low and…? Part Two: Saving the World Six Times before Breakfast (Or Not) — Author A.J. Luxton continues their ruminations on fantasy.

B&N and DC: Exclusivity Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again — Crap. I’ve been boycotting Amazon for the past year and a half for doing eaxctly what Barnes & Noble just did. That is, abuse its market power to punish print authors for an only tangentially related dispute in a different product line. B&N’s actions don’t affect me directly, as I’m not a DC comics author nor a reader, but god damn it, I don’t want to run out of big bookstores. (And yes, I buy independent when I can, but sometimes big is useful.)

World’s oldest running car fetches $4.6 million at auction — Now this is just awesome. (Snurched from [info]jimvanpelt.)

Electric TRON Lightcycle Outed by Parker Brothers — (Via David Goldman.)

Will the Large Hadron Collider Explain Everything?

Octopi Wall Street! — (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Herman Cain: pizza boss, radio host, ballistics expert, minister. President?Once the butt of late-night comedians, the Tennessee-born politician has emerged as the unlikely darling of the right.

Palin pulls a PalinSarah-watchers were not surprised when she announced she wouldn’t run for president. It was never her goal. A con’s a con. Thank you John McCain for visiting this woman upon America. She will be your political legacy.

Will Romney-Perry race be Christian vs. Christian? — I will point out that claiming the Mormon church is not Christian isn’t equivalent to saying it’s a cult. Whether something is a cult is a matter of perspective. As an atheist, to my view Mormons are no more or less a cult than Southern Baptists. As for Christian, I’m not in charge of those labels, but that would seem to be a definable matter. What I do know is that conservative party is infested with Christianists, that is, people who use the trappings of Christianity as clubs to wage political and cultural war for their personal bigotry and wilful ignorance. Mormon, Southern Baptist, I could not care less; it’s the Christianists I fear and despise. It’s the Christianists who’ve been busily destroying the social fabric of our nation my entire political lifetime.

Why Not Question Romney’s Religion?Back in 2008, the only moment when the Obama campaign looked to be in some difficulty was when the GOP attacked his church and firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright. The attack itself was dishonest in that the McCain campaign took the words of the sermon out of context. On the one hand, I’m perfectly happy to see the Republican party eating their own young for a change instead of pissing in the national pot as usual. On the other hand, even as atheist, I don’t think this is a legitimate line of attack. My own belief in freedom of religion is absolute, but I likewise believe it absolutely stops at the edge of the public square. In other words, Romney or Perry or whoever can believe what they will with my full support, but they can’t impose those beliefs on me on or anybody else. It’s in the second part of that belief that I find my lifelong quarrel with American conservatism, not the first.

?otD: Melon balls or mountain oysters?

Writing time yesterday: 3.5 hours (revisions and WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 218.0
Currently reading: The Cassini Division by Ken MacLeod

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[cancer|food] More dreams, more food

Dreamt of cheeseburgers last night. In exhaustive, loving, greasy detail. (Then I rolled over and dreamt that my stepmother was remodeling their [imaginary] townhouse while having a classic VW Beetle pimped out, but that’s another story.) The BRAT(y) diet is obviously getting to me deep down. On the other hand, it is helping me a lot.

Yesterday I was daring and made egg salad. H— had recently brought me some homemade sweet, hot relish, so I used that plus a dash of olive oil mayonnaise. Then I made a sandwich with a section of toasted baguette, the “T” in BRAT(y).

What, did you think I was going to eat Wonder Bread?

Everything went okay, other than maybe a tad more rumbling down below, but within the BRAT(y) norms.

I’m now at the point in my cycle where I can probably resume eating most foods. Which is going to be put to the test today, as our region’s slightly retro, more-or-less sustainable and locally sourced burger chain Burgerville is having a 50-year price rollback today. My Dad wants to go bust out the nostalgia on cheap cheeseburgers. A family outing is in order this afternoon. I may be overcome with enthusiasm and have a salad as well. More to the point, I can for a few moments fulfill my dreams of eating boy food once more.

The question is whether I’ll spend a few hours or days paying for it.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[writing] A bit more going forward

I got a lot done yesterday, almost none of it from my to-do list. Some short fiction revisions, some market submittals — I haven’t put anything out to market on spec submission since sometime last May, and this will be my least active year for short fiction in a very long time — then a bunch of time cleaning up my tracking spreadsheet and my actual story files. Which definitely counts as deep maintenance, and also writing avoidance for the book outline I’m trolling with right now.

Or possibly it’s a sign of the long-awaited chemo-induced attenuation of my writing brain, exeunt pursued by bears. Certainly most of my activity yesterday was left brainy stuff, and none of it was oriented toward laying down new words.

At any rate, today is an open schedule. I expect to be helping [info]the_child with some of her homework, and a family burger outing is in the offing around midday, but otherwise my time is uncommitted. I’m going to poke at the outline and see if the brain is in gear. I also want to draft a blog post about how it feels not to have a novel to be written under contract for the first time in five years, and maybe some related thoughts on Sunspin.

The to-do list, cleaned up, mostly for my own reference. As usual, in no particular order.

  • Revise a committed short story (finished this past week, now out with first readers)
  • Send out the linked lost colony stories to market
  • Draft a script on metastasis for a science podcast
  • Participate in a podcast interview
  • Make yet further notes on a proposal/outline for a mooted collaborative novel project with urban fantasy author J.A. Pitts
  • Review Sunspin feedback from several of my readers
  • Begin process a book proposal regarding my cancer blogging (index built)
  • Revisit Antarctica project
  • Some creative/academic critique for a friend (follow up as needed)

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.